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Friday, June 30, 2017

Release & Review - Maybe in Paris by Rebecca Christiansen

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: Maybe In Paris 
Author: Rebecca Christiansen
Publication Date: June 20th, 2017
Age Category/Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Keira Braidwood lands in Paris with her autistic brother, Levi, and high hopes. Levi has just survived a suicide attempt and months in the psych ward—he’s ready for a dose of the wider world. Unlike their helicopter mom and the doctors who hover over Levi, Keira doesn’t think Levi’s certifiable. He’s just . . . quirky. Always has been.

Those quirks quickly begin to spoil the trip. Keira wants to traipse all over Europe; Levi barely wants to leave their grubby hotel room. She wants to dine on the world’s cuisine; he only wants fast food. Levi is one giant temper tantrum, and Keira’s ready to pull out her own hair.

She finally finds the adventure she craves in Gable, a hot Scottish bass player, but while Keira flirts in the Paris Catacombs, Levi’s mental health breaks. He disappears from their hotel room and Keira realizes, too late, that her brother is sicker than she was willing to believe. To bring him home safe, Keira must tear down the wall that Levi’s sickness and her own guilt have built between them.

Buy Links: Amazon 

1 “Really?” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you, Sky Pony Press!

First of all, I don’t rate books one star on a regular basis. I really don’t. I feel horrible every single time I do it, and since I don’t like making myself sad, I try not to do this often. But I had a bad feeling about this story from chapter one, and I wish I could say I’m surprised I ended up disliking it this much, but I am not.

Let me just quickly say I don’t feel qualified to talk about the representation of Autism in this book. I read on Goodreads that the author’s brother is Autistic, and I don’t want to offend her family in any way. So I’ll stay away from this topic. I’m sure other reviewers with better understanding of the subject will talk about this aspect of the story.

I want to start by talking about the premise. This premise in itself is a bomb ready to go off. Look at the blurb: girl ignores her brother’s diagnosis and decides it’s a good idea to take him to Europe weeks after he attempts suicide + girl is more worried about flirting and falling in love than being around her brother + girl calls her brother’s autism “quirks” + girl abandons her autistic brother in a strange country to hang out with guy + girl finally realizes she screwed up. See where I’m getting here? This is a recipe for disaster.

I get that the point of the story is to show Keira’s journey from being clueless to finally understanding what’s happening around her. Growing up is part of her arc. But when you’re dealing with serious topics like these, you need to be 100% sure the main character is someone readers can get behind. Someone readers are willing to follow through every mistake. Someone readers will forgive because they see she’s trying to be better. I didn’t get that from Keira.

Keira was too selfish to be the protagonist of a story like this. She only thought about herself and, even when it seemed she was thinking about her brother, she truly wasn’t. And I could see that from the first few paragraphs.

The book starts with Keira hearing a commotion because her brother tried to kill himself. No spoiler here since the blurb talks about this part. Okay, so if you’re going to start with something like that, the scene needs to be so emotional I’ll instantly feel for the characters involved, right? Well, that didn’t happen. Keira didn’t give me anything to hold on to. She didn’t get out of her room even though she heard her mother screaming, the ambulance coming and everything else that was going on. I got nothing. Absolutely nothing from her.

Later on we come to learn Keira is suffering from anxiety, so maybe that why she didn’t even leave her room. Ok. I get that. What I don’t get is why she seemed to not care for her brother at all until she decided, HEY, you’re dealing with mental illness right now, the doctors are saying maybe you won’t be able to ever live without supervision, but we should take an unsupervised trip to Paris and, you know, ignore everything else.

And the thing was, I got the feeling that this wasn’t even about her brother and her misguided, but well-intended attempt to show him that he could live life the way he wanted. No. It was all about her. It was about her dream of going to Paris after graduation—a dream she was afraid wouldn’t be fulfilled because of her brother’s suicide attempt. I truly felt like the only reason Keira even thought about taking her brother to Paris was to make the whole trip possible. Her mother had made it clear she disapproved of Keira’s choice to travel, and doing it while her brother was hospitalized would’ve been really cruel of her. So it came across as if she was finding the perfect solution to her “problem”: taking him with her.

Had Keira been a good sister to Levi, I would’ve believed she truly wanted him there, but she couldn’t have cared less about him. She was too busy thinking about Paris and falling in love.

Dude. Keira was obsessed with falling in love. In Paris, preferably.

What I’m about to say next will shock every single person who’s ever read one of my reviews, but here it comes: THIS BOOK DIDN’T NEED A ROMANCE SUBPLOT OR A ROMANCE-FOCUSED MAIN CHARACTER!

I know. I know. But it’s true. This book would’ve been so much better if instead of trying to fall in love with every single boy she met, Keira had been focused on her brother. I wanted to read a book about a good sibling relationship, but nope. All I got was selfish Keira taking her brother to Europe, getting pissed off because he was uncomfortable in some situations and therefore changed her plans, and then ditching him when the first boy who wasn’t rude to her asked her out.

I mean, I would’ve been really pissed off at the author had I been French. Pretty much every French boy Keira met was horrible to her. Then came a nice Scottish guy and she was ready to fall in love.

I don’t know, but how exactly am I supposed to sympathize with a character who leaves her mentally ill brother in a hotel room for hours to go flirt with some guy she just met??? I don’t understand. I’m confused. I really am. Was I supposed to like her? 

I’m sorry, but she made bad choices after bad choices, and she seemed so clueless that I simply couldn’t even feel sorry for her.

Then when describing her brother’s situation to her crush she says her brother is “screwed up”. At this point, I’m like WTF?!

After that she obviously loses her brother because she left the poor guy alone in a hotel room from morning to freaking seven p.m.! The blurb said she’d lose him, so this isn’t even a spoiler. The thing is, this happens at the 80% mark, and if the main character is still making this type of choices this late in this story, I’m pretty confident I won’t change my opinion of her in the last 20% of the story.

I wasn't surprised when Keira kept irritating me after that. Sure, she eventually learned a thing or two, but I was so done with her at that point that I simply couldn't get behind the happy ending. I’m sorry.

So, while I did get what the story was trying to portray, I don’t think it had the right elements to successfully carry such a complex premise. I needed a main character I could get behind and Keira was never that for me. I went into this thinking I’d get a sibling story, but all I got was a selfish sister making her brother’s life even more difficult than it already was.
*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

Book Blitz with Giveaway - Backseat With the Billionaire by Lilah May

Title: Backseat with the Billionaire
AuthorLilah May
GenreAdult Contemporary Romance

She just wants to use him for revenge. 

A billionaire MMA fighter whose cocky smile and washboard abs make wet panties drop left and right. 
She thinks she wants him for one amazing night out and end it. 
Boy, did she think wrong. 

He's about to teach her how much more she really wants. 

Finding out your husband's cheating is hard. 
Finding out it’s with a college girl is even harder. 
The easy part? Retribution: beating him blue with a baseball bat and kicking him to the curb. 
But it's still not enough. 

So when Bobby Carter, fresh out of college, blows back into town with all the intensity of a hurricane, I decide I’m not done. 
Bobby’s everything my ex-husband is not. Sexy, aggressive, and intense. 
Like melt me into a puddle intense. 

Who cares if I used to babysit him? 
He’s a grown man, now. And I mean, FULLY grown. 

All I wanted was a night out with him, but one taste and I’m addicted. 

When Lisa Howard finally gets rid of her cheating husband, I want to take her right then and there. 
I got rid of that abusive bastard and built a billion dollar empire all for her. 
Nothing could satisfy my ravenous hunger but taking a bite of that sweet little thing. 

So when she offers herself up to me for one night, I'm not about to refuse. 
She's nothing like the sorority bimbos at Northfield U. 
She is a real woman. 
Sexy, mature, and an ass so fine I would give up my billions just for a taste. 

But I know a taste won’t be enough and one night too short for all the dirty things I want to do to her and that deliciously curvy body. 

She’ll be mine, but not just for tonight. Forever. 

This is a full-length, standalone, steamy 18+ romance. No cheating or cliffhangers, and definitely a wonderful Happily Ever After guaranteed.

Hi everyone! I'm Lilah May (well, you already know that).

I write steamy romance that will touch your heart (and your body <3 all="" in="" right="" span="" the="" ways.="">
Ok, maybe it sounds a little corny but it's true!
I make sure my books are full of hot and dirty scenes but still has that oh so important warm sentimental love.

Anywho, I'm just a girl with too many dirty thoughts going through her head and I thought I'd share them with all of you!

Though I have to warn you: be prepared!
These stunning alpha male heroes I write about are straight out of my fantasies: impossibly sexy, crazy dominant, and 110% guaranteed to make your knees weak.
So you better sit down, grab a towel and leave all your inhibitions at the door (along with your panties) because my books will make you melt and squirm with HEA love!

Side note: I like my cookies chewy and I've learned way too late in my life that I can microwave them for ten seconds to make them chewy again. I don't hate on crunchy, though. Cookies are cookies lol.

Oh, and also I'm a nurse so when I get my hands on a real good book, things can get incredibly dangerous! (That's a joke for all you stuffy wet blankets. I would never risk my patients. I love them!)

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Cover Reveal - I Do(n't) by Leddy Harper

Title: I Do(n't)
Author: Leddy Harper 
Publication Date: August 10th, 2017 
Age Category/Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Wicked by Design

I fell in love with Holden York when I was six years old.

Most of my youth came with spiral notebooks filled with doodles, wedding plans, and “Janelle York” looped in bubbly handwriting.

However, one night in Vegas changed everything.

I woke up to more than just a fantasy of my brother’s best friend.

Five years later, I'm standing on his doorstep confronting him about the secret he kept from me. 

If you think this is the story of how we rode off into the sunset together…

You’re so wrong.

But if you think this is the story of how Holden blackmailed me into living with him...

You couldn't be more right.

Add to your TBR -

Leddy Harper had to use her imagination often as a child. She grew up the only girl in a house full of boys. At the age of fourteen, she decided to use that imagination and wrote her first book, and never stopped. 

She often calls writing her therapy, using it as a way to deal with issues through the eyes of her characters.

She is now a mother of three girls, leaving her husband as the only man in a house full of females. 

The decision to publish her first book was made as a way of showing her children to go after whatever it is they want to. Love what you do and do it well. Most importantly Leddy wanted to teach them what it means to overcome their fears.

Follow Leddy Harper

Book Blitz with Giveaway - Pneuma Series by Serena Kearney

Title: Pneuma
(Pneuma Series Book #1)
AuthorSerena Kearney
GenreSciFi, Supernatural Romance

Estelle Caldwell caused a war with her birth.

Estelle Caldwell has friends, family...everything a girl could ask for. But as she looks back on her life andher birthday approaches, weird things start to happen.
Questions are left unanswered. Her feelings are starting to become clear for the one she's been in love with her whole life.
People she knows start to become strangers to her.
She has to leave to protect them... to protect... him

the vital spirit, soul, or creative force of a person.

Do you know what it feels like to hold fate in your hand?
Was it fate that my whole life got turned upside down?
He was the reason I had to leave.
Making the sacrifice caused my heart to rip in two.
I wanted normalcy. I wanted my life to be my own.
But it's nothing without the people I love, and it's for
the people I love that I have to leave.
Fate. Please be kind.
Will he still remember me?
Will our first and last kiss be one and the same?
Please remember.
Please be with me.

Family is tested.
Memories are everywhere.
Love is one of the biggest reliefs and hurts you can have at the same time.

**FREE on Amazon!**

Pneuma Series Book 2
***The continuation from Book One- Pneuma***

Follow Estelle and Reed's journey in Book Two- Surge.

1. a strong, wavelike, forward movement, rush, or sweep.
2. a strong, swelling, wavelike volume or body of something.


When I find out our link isn’t complete, we have a whole other journey to discover. 
Through pain, sweat, and a full out war between the planets, it is laid, not only on my shoulders, but Reeds as well.
And when I find out who Vega has captured and what he has in store for us, I am going to need everyone’s help in the process.
Can I do what I am fated to do?
Will our love survive?
Or will it be a tornado destroying everything in it’s path?

Pneuma Series Book 3

A pair of beings who have formed an unbreakable, metaphysical link. They often experience heightened levels of ESP, including telepathy, telekinesis, and remote viewing.


The first place I called home.
The place I lived.
The place I fell in love. The place my family raised me. The place I formed everlasting bonds.
Can I ignore the ache in my chest when all I see through their eyes is hate and built up hostility?
When I think I am done with one war, I have another to deal with.
Can I do this?
Will I be brave enough?
Reed gives me strength.
Earth is my home.
I will save it.

I am a Leo. Born August 10, living on the east coast. I self-published my first novel, PNEUMA, November 2014, and it's hasn't stopped since.

One of my biggest problems was having too much to read. Now my newfound problem; having too much to write and not enough hands to type it out. Not enough brains to put the stories together fast enough. Not enough tea or coffee to keep me awake 24/7.

So, like every normal person, I have to take it one day at a time.

My cravings for sweets keep me going, any sort of cakes (especially red velvet), pies, cookies, and ice cream.
I have a cat named Bongo-Bongo, who loves to get in my way when I'm trying to work, but is too cute for me to fight him off.
And then I have my family, specifically my husband, who puts up with my endless nights, my tapping of the keyboard, my ridiculous imagination, and yet, he always encourages me to believe in myself and follow my dreams.

Follow the tour HERE!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Release & Review - The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen #1) by Emily R. King

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: The Hundredth Queen
(The Hundredth Queen #1)
Author: Emily R. King
Category/Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: June 1st, 2017
Publisher: Skyscape
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.

Buy LinkAmazon

3.5 “Queens, Deaths & Magic” Stars

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, Skyscape!

Let me start this review with the appropriate amount of gushing over this stunning cover, because JUST LOOK AT IT!

I’d been anxious to get my hands on this book since the beginning of the year, and I was more than happy to get approved for a review copy!!! I immediately started reading and the beginning of the book really pulled me in. The MC was likable enough, there was a little mystery since she kept getting fever and didn’t know what was wrong with her, and there was a hint of forbidden romance from the start. The whole “now you have to fight other queens and courtesans” if you want to stay alive thing was also intriguing. Sure it’s been done a lot in YA Fantasy, but I thought I liked the history behind this.

As the Rajah’s 100th wife, Kali (the main character) was the last woman he’d marry. She was also the courtesans last chance of “upgrading” to wife. If one of them killed her during an official tournament held by the Rajah, that courtesan would take Kali’s place.

The whole concept is unnerving, because it puts woman against woman as they risk their lives in order to become a man’s wife. It could’ve gone blown up in the author’s face, but she ended up finding a way to make it clear that the whole idea behind this tournament was wrong. I liked how the ending had a little of a girl power vibe to it.

The magic, though, didn’t do much for me. I thought I’d be more intrigued by it, but it just didn’t hold the impact I was expecting. I found it confusing at times, and I wasn’t really convinced at the motives behind the war between the ones with magic and the ones without. Since the second half of the book was heavier on this mythology, I ended up being less interested in the story, which was a shame.

Now, I had mixed feelings about the romance. I’m usually a sucker for guards falling in love with future queens/princesses, and I was shipping Kalinda and Deven for real in the beginning. But then things moved a little too fast with them. The romance loved the angst it needed to work. Things were going too fast and too easy for them, and I became uninterested after a while. I also expected a little more from Kali when things with Deven got “complicated”, but she didn’t show me enough emotion to make me feel for her.

Though I liked the ending, I have to say the first half of the story held my attention a lot more than the second half.
*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.